Pearl Jam | 06.30.08 | Mansfield

Words by: Andrew Bruss | Images by: Dave Vann

Pearl Jam :: 06.30.08 :: Comcast Center :: Mansfield, MA

The Pearl Jam
The final performance of Pearl Jam's North American tour in Mansfield reverberated with a preternatural energy that could be felt from the front of the stage to the back of the lawn. The pseudo-messianic vibe frontman Eddie Vedder emitted had the crowd under a hypnotic frenzy for two full hours, with hands clapping, fans chanting and people singing along while they waited in line for the can.

Pearl Jam has always had a rare bond with their audience, and with good reason. They've gone to the ends of the earth through fan club ticket sales and anti-trust law suits against Ticketmaster to ensure that their fans get the best seats in the house with as little service charges as possible. In addition, the appreciation and admiration the group demonstrates onstage towards their audience plays a big part in building this bond.

After five minutes of hearing the audience chant their name, Pearl Jam took the stage to "Wash" off 2003's Lost Dogs. They followed up with "Last Exit," and as they worked their way deeper into the set, they kicked out fan fave "Even Flow" off their 1991 debut, Ten. The tune's highlight was a lengthy jam between Mike McCready (lead guitar), and Jeff Ament (bass). As McCready and Ament went buck wild, Vedder chilled side-stage and worked on a bottle of red wine. At times, the improvisation seemed a bit lengthy and lacking in focus, but their technical proficiency and enthusiasm in each note helped take things to a higher level. As the jam wrapped up, Vedder dove back to center stage, tossing his now-empty bottle aside as he howled through the final chorus of "Even Flow" like the beastly rock god that he is.

The group continued to work through the set before closing with one of their mainstream hits, "Do The Evolution." As Vedder drove the crowd wild from atop a stack of monitors, his overwhelming stage presence couldn't help but verify that he is one of the greatest frontmen of our time, surpassing Tool's Maynard James Keenan, Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Dave Matthews in sheer showmanship and raw charisma.

Following a six-song encore that closed with "Why Go," Pearl Jam returned to the stage for a coup de grace that started with "No More" then worked through "Once" before reaching an astounding crescendo with the 1-2 punch of "Alive" and Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World." Their performance of the tune with Young at the 1993 MTV Video Awards established Young as the "Godfather of Grunge," and showed the world that Pearl Jam was more than just another greasy haired group from Seattle that record labels were force feeding FM radio.

By the end of the night, their performance at the Comcast Center left fans in an ear-ringing haze that many may still be coming out of. And for anyone who hadn't been exposed to the group before the show, odds are they left the venue a newly baptized Pearl Jam fan.

Pearl Jam :: 06.30.08 :: Comcast Center :: Mansfield, MA
Set I: Wash, Last Exit, Save You, Severed Hand, Animal, MFC, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, 1/2 Full, Corduroy, Given To Fly, Even Flow, Education, Satan's Bed, Whipping, Glorified G, Do The Evolution
Encore I: Bee Girl, Who You Are, Better Man (Save it for Later), Garden, Why Go
Encore II: No More, Once, Footsteps, Alive, Rockin' In The Free World

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[Published on: 7/10/08]

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Muffinman1 Thu 7/10/2008 05:36PM
Show -4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
phalluscooper Thu 7/10/2008 06:14PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Not more than the Police...

BobbyShortcutShows starstarstarstarstar Thu 7/10/2008 06:27PM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


having seen both tool and pearl jam many times. eddie rips maynard a new one! Pearl Jam is the "last band standing" from the grunge days! And they are the best and thats why they are still around.

jammasterjustin Thu 7/10/2008 06:34PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

i saw them the night before, also in mansfield. my first PJ show, it was awesome.... but this one sounsd better

biged Thu 7/10/2008 06:39PM
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Not as much as Kanye West.....FUCK KANYE

AKPhuser starstarstarstarstar Thu 7/10/2008 06:58PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

One of the best bands ever! Not even in the same discussion as tool.

What's up with Jeff's 12 string bass guitar? Looks awesome.

kaiserbun starstarstarstar Thu 7/10/2008 07:05PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

yeah, i don't understand how someone could think tool is better than pearl jam, and i don't even listen to pearl jam that much anymore. they were one of my favorites growing up, and always will be though. i saw tool at bonnaroo, it was bunch of weird noise and screaming. the laser light show was pretty cool at least. on a side note, eddie vedder's solo stuff is really good.

bealotcoolerifyoudid Thu 7/10/2008 07:47PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Last time I checked Bobbyshorcuts, TOOL is still around, and headlining festivals around the world,and I have to say, they rip PJ a new one. Pearl Jam is a really good band, but I believe they charge waaaayyyy to much for their tickets.

stroose Thu 7/10/2008 08:10PM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


TOOL and PEARL JAM are not the same style of music. its not fair to compare the two. Also, ticket prices are driven by demand. simple business here. when you sell out large ampetheaters... ticket prices go up. Pearl Jam also redirects a lot of their income from touring back to worthy causes. They have been doing this for a long time, and without much of the attention that other bands get for their good deeds. On another note... Pearl Jam tore Bonnarro apart. Amazing set, and i feel like they went the extra mile to make the set, musically and visually very appealing to the "jam band festival audience". stellar show.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} Fri 7/11/2008 05:07AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

they cost more than steely dan??????

laprodconn Fri 7/11/2008 07:28AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

i love mike mcreadys t-shirts lately....does anyone know where i can buy them?

Smittea Fri 7/11/2008 07:28AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Jeremy is looking pretty freakin' old

Chaloupka Fri 7/11/2008 07:32AM
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TooL takes PJ anyday.

z man starstarstar Fri 7/11/2008 07:55AM
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I don't think it gets any more intense or raw than maynard. Eddie Vedder is cool and all but tool in general is just bad ass. Maybe he was just trying to express the way it felt like to him. Exactly.

Grateful Red Fri 7/11/2008 08:23AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Grateful Red

You are a tool if you don't get that he was comparing Eddie to Maynard and that was it. Stage presence and charisma onstage goes to Vedder hands down. Tool and PJ is an argument that could go on and on... Eddie or Maynard? Really? You'd rather see Maynard? Not most people. That being said. PJ is the shit and I can't believe all the terrible music they play on JamOn 17 and PJ gets NO love! Total BS. They JAM! Also, Return to Forever was a lot more expensive. So was Alison Krauss and Robert Plant.

keenan41 starstarstar Fri 7/11/2008 09:16AM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


First, I respect PJ for what they do, but how many times can they do the same setlist? Plus, what's the deal with 2 encores? Everyone knows they do that at every show. Just play longer with a 3 song encore...

Second, I used to be a die hard Tool fan until the dawn of the internet where i could see they played, shockingly, the same set list at every show. The light show is great, but try to change it up. That being said, both of these groups have die hard fans despite the different musical directions. I guess you can't change the way a band does things.

zeus283 Fri 7/11/2008 09:56AM
Show -3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
anonymous starstarstarstarstar Fri 7/11/2008 11:56AM
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"last band standing" from the grunge days???.....dave grohl would think do pearl jam, respect them much.....but i was a nirvana fan and dave has done a great job taking that torch i'd say the foo fighters are "still standing" strong as ever....

AKPhuser starstarstarstarstar Fri 7/11/2008 12:04PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

sorry smittea, no Jeremy in Pearl Jam....& Pearl Jam hardly plays the same set-list at every show. not even close.

AintNoFreedom starstarstarstarstar Fri 7/11/2008 02:20PM
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This show was so fun... last night of the tour, Eddie drunk of his ass and I was totally spun. Such a good vibe, with some killer jams and psyched out versions of old songs... Best touring band today (w/ MMJ coming as an ever creeping 2nd).

btw, sorry... but Foo Fighters are not quite near the caliber of Pearl Jam. Compare to the two song catalogs next to each other and it's really no contest.

anonymous starstarstarstarstar Fri 7/11/2008 03:17PM
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no one said anything about anyone being BETTER.....just the "LAST" band thing was obviously wrong as dave has been doing this (including nirvana) almost as long as eddie....not comparing talent....has more to do with "LAST" is still around and just as strong as they (foo fighters) have ever been....

on the song catalog thing, totally never went through album after album of not much there......pearl jam is awesome, but they lost it somewhere around the 4th/5th album (FOR ME)...where as foo has delivered maybe one weaker album (again, FOR ME)...glad to see pearl jam hit on an album that i totally dig (but its been a long long long time)....



no diss on eddie, i LOVE their first 4 albums and LOVE "into the wild"...just their "entire song catalog" has a lot more duds than foo fighters (in my opinion) might have just as many "great" songs....but it seems (FOR ME) that dave hits most everytime....



may just be that i was a huge nirvana fan and still feel kurt's core in dave's writing and muscianship.....



both are bands that i prefer and like most of their music

monsterfilmer Fri 7/11/2008 05:41PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Oh please! Pearl Jam has got to be one of the most overrated bands. And Eddie Vedder surpassing Thom Yorke as one of the greatest frontmen of our time...please! Thom Yorke takes that prize, hands down. Heck, I'd take Maynard over Mr. Vedder, but as I stated, Thom Yorke is the king of this category.

danalog Sun 7/13/2008 11:03AM
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dude....any Nirvana fan who thinks that Dave Grohl is "passing the torch" with the Foo Fighters is LOST. the Foo's are not a "Grunge" band, and never were. Unfortunately, I am unable to count how many times Kurt has rolled over in his grave, but the Foo's went straight for MTV and now they are sell-outs. Read the latest issue of Spin where Dave Grohl admits this himself.

Chapelchilla starstarstarstarstar Sun 7/13/2008 12:33PM
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Eddie has no close rivals for the mythological best frontman of a rock band nowadays.

Maynard and Yorke are okay but not even in the same class. Out of the bands I have seen more then once, here is my top ten-

Ed, Mick Jagger, Bruce, Bono, Layne Staley, Jerry, Trey (for the guitar playing more then the stage presence), Neil Young, David Lee Roth and whoever is having a really good night that night. All the top class peeps can bring it every night the high level and sometimes a lesser fella can step up in the right conditions.

anonymous starstarstarstarstar Sun 7/13/2008 03:58PM
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danalog..... whaever...if I (ME) feel something of kurt through foo's music, then I do.if you don't then you don't whatever......... and take anything dave says in perspective..ask kurt if nirvana was a sellout too, and i'd bet you a million he'd say yeah (were he alive to answer it).. that's probably exactly why he was disbanding nirvana just before his death..... because i feel kurts style of music in foo does not even come close to making me "LOST".... many many of dave's songs are straight out of kurt's "STYLE"...label it whatever you want....touches of punk in some songs, touches of lows/highs in some songs (heavy/soft combinations), and just straight up damn good writing in other songs.....


nothing saying YOU have to agree, and you are not the "authority" of what everyone has to feel about whatever music they listen to

jlance00 Mon 7/14/2008 11:16AM
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Pearl Jam is going to be up there with the grateful dead very soon. People will and already religiously follow this rock and roll powerhouse. The RED SOX of ROCK!

AintNoFreedom Mon 7/14/2008 08:03PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Mica, props for staying positive with your message and standing by your opinions. Much respect. I would say however, that while Foo Fighters clearly draw on Grohl's punk/grunge experience, they were always a post-grunge, pop rock band more than an actual grunge band. They were too positive and accessible to be grunge.

Although, to be fair. If we're talking labels, Pearl Jam has (understandably, and thankfully) gone beyond and transcended the grunge sound to a deeper, more varied style.

anonymous Tue 7/15/2008 11:18AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


i'll have to totally agree with you on the "too positive and accesible to be grunge" thought......and thank goodness dave does have a bit more positive outlook than kurt did or we may not have him around making great music anymore either!!!!.....and i truly do still feel kurt through foo's music whatever label anybody wants to put on them....i haven't gone to see foo fighters in years (since they grew to arena size), but he will always be that link back to the nirvana days for me....i ALWAYS look forward to a foo release, he rarley writes a dud of a song...thanks aintnofreedom for the positive thoughts

Johnny Kashola Tue 7/15/2008 11:26AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Pearl Jam doesn't jam, but they know how to rip it pretty heavy!!! If you don't mind the crazy ticket prices and hearing the same songs every night, PJ can give you a nice rush for a couple hours...